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Climate Change and the Pyrenees, Spain and France

42.4N 1.5E

March 3rd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Mountains

Spain – March 2nd, 2013

Europe’s mountain regions may suffer some of the most severe impacts of climate change. Increasing temperatures can change snow-cover patterns and lead to water shortages. Species may also face extinction if unable to move northward or uphill.

Temperatures are rising faster in mountainous regions, making them particularly vulnerable to climate change. Glaciers in the Pyrenees, whose snow-capped peaks are visible in the upper right quadrant, along the France-Spain border, have shrunk considerably over the past 150 years.


Snow Atop the Pyrenees, France and Spain

42.6N 1.0E

February 13th, 2013 Category: Mountains

Spain and France – January 25th, 2013

Snow sits atop the peaks of the Pyrenees, a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain, with the tiny country of Andorra sandwiched in between. The range also separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extends for about 491 km (305 mi) from the Bay of Biscay (Cap Higuer) to the Mediterranean (Cap de Creus).

The Pyrenees are older than the Alps: their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists largely of granite and gneissose rocks, while in the western part the granite peaks are flanked by layers of limestone. The massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, which is particularly resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development.

Sediments from Guadalquivir River, Spain

36.7N 6.3W

December 7th, 2012 Category: Rivers, Sediments

Spain – December 2nd, 2012

Sediments pour from the Guadalquivir River into the Gulf of Cádiz, in the Atlantic Ocean. The Guadalquivir is the fifth longest river in the Iberian peninsula and the second longest river with its entire length in Spain.

The river is 657 kilometers long and drains an area of about 58,000 square kilometers. It begins at Cañada de las Fuentes in the Cazorla mountain range (Jaén), passes through Córdoba and Seville and ends at the fishing village of Bonanza, in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, flowing into the Gulf of Cádiz. The marshy lowlands at the river’s end are known as “Las Marismas”.

Wildfire in Tabuyo del Monte, Spain

42.5N 5.5W

August 22nd, 2012 Category: Fires

Spain – August 21st, 2012

A plume of smoke from a wildfire in Tabuyo del Monte, near León, Spain, blows diagonally towards the northeast. Some 500 soldiers have been deployed to help battle the blaze, which authorities believe was started intentionally in the northern part of the country.

Wildfire in Sierra de Francia, Spain

40.5N 6.1W

July 24th, 2012 Category: Fires

Portugal and Spain – July 23rd, 2012

Spain and Portugal are experiencing problems with wildfires this summer. Here, smoke from a blaze in Spain’s Sierra de Francia, a mountain range located at the southern end of province of Salamanca, Castile and León, can be seen blowing southward from near the image center. Most of the Sierra de Francia’s territory, together with the valley of Las Batuecas was declared a natural park under the name Parque Natural de Las Batuecas-Sierra de Francia.